Grissom, Virgil I.

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Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom (b. April 3, 1926-d. Jan. 27, 1967) was born in Mitchell, Indiana. An Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, received his wings in March 1951. He flew 100 combat missions in Korea in F-86s with the 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and, upon returning to the United States in 1952, became a jet instructor at Bryan, Texas. In August 1955, he entered the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to study Aeronautical Engineering. He attended the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in October 1956 and returned to Wright-Patterson in May 1957 as a test pilot assigned to the fighter branch. Grissom was one of the seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA in April 1959. He piloted the ¿Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft (the second and final suborbital Mercury test flight) on July 21, 1961. On March 23, 1965, he served as command pilot on the first manned Gemini flight, A 3-orbit mission during which the crew accomplished the first orbital trajectory modifications and the first lifting reentry of a manned spacecraft. Subsequent to this assignment, he served as backup command pilot for Gemini 6. Grissom was named to serve as command pilot for the AS-204 mission, the first 3-man Apollo flight. Grissom died in the Apollo spacecraft fire in January 1967, at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

From the description of Grissom, Virgil I., 1926-1967 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10580726

Virgil Ivan (Gus) Grissom was born in 1926 in Mitchell, Indiana. He attended Purdue University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. In 1951 he earned his pilot wings in the US Air Force and served in Korea where he flew 100 combat missions in F-86 Sabrejet fighters. Upon his return stateside he was a flight instructor at Bryan, Texas, and in 1955 he was admitted to the Air Force Institute of Technology to study aeronautical engineering. From there he went to Test Pilot School and in 1957 was assigned as test pilot in the fighter branch at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. In 1959 Gus Grissom was selected as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts. He was backup to Alan Shepard, the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight on May 5, 1961. Grissom occupied the second manned Mercury mission on July 21, 1961, also a 15-minute suborbital flight. Unlike the smooth landing and recovery for Shepard, there were problems for Grissom. The hatch blew open upon landing and the capsule, Liberty Bell 7, quickly sank in the Atlantic. Grissom managed to escape with his flight suit partially filled with ocean water and was rescued by helicopter. The capsule was not recovered until the second attempt in 1999. For his role in Project Mercury, Grissom was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. Grissom commanded the first manned flight of the 2-man Gemini program. Gemini 3 launched on March 3, 1965, and carried out the first maneuvers by a manned spacecraft in orbit. Grissom was assigned to command the first flight of the 3-man Apollo program. Tragically, the crew, Gus Grissom, Edward White II, and Roger Chaffee, died in a fire during a launch pad test on January 27, 1967. Grissom left a wife and two children, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

From the description of Project Mercury stamps, first day of issue, autographed by Gus Grissom 1962. (Denver Museum of Nature & Science). WorldCat record id: 69957592

Virgil Ivan (Gus) Grissom was born in 1926 in Mitchell, Indiana. He attended Purdue University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. In 1951 he earned his pilot wings in the US Air Force and served in Korea where he flew 100 combat missions in F-86 Sabrejet fighters. Upon his return stateside he was a flight instructor at Bryan, Texas, and in 1955 he was admitted to the Air Force Institute of Technology to study aeronautical engineering. From there he went to Test Pilot School and in 1957 was assigned as test pilot in the fighter branch at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

In 1959 Gus Grissom was selected as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts. He was backup to Alan Shepard, the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight on May 5, 1961. Grissom occupied the second manned Mercury mission on July 21, 1961, also a 15-minute suborbital flight. Unlike the smooth landing and recovery for Shepard, there were problems for Grissom. The hatch blew open upon landing and the capsule, Liberty Bell 7, quickly sank in the Atlantic. Grissom managed to escape with his flight suit partially filled with ocean water and was rescued by helicopter. The capsule was not recovered until the second attempt in 1999. For his role in Project Mercury, Grissom was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

Grissom commanded the first manned flight of the 2-man Gemini program. Gemini 3 launched on March 3, 1965, and carried out the first maneuvers by a manned spacecraft in orbit. Grissom was assigned to command the first flight of the 3-man Apollo program. Tragically, the crew, Gus Grissom, Edward White II, and Roger Chaffee, died in a fire during a launch pad test on January 27, 1967. Grissom left a wife and two children, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

From the guide to the Project Mercury stamps, first day of issue, autographed by Gus Grissom, 1962, (Denver Museum of Nature & Science, )

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn PROJECT MERCURY ASTRONAUT PRESS CONFERENCE United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 1903 - 2006. Historical Photograph Files
referencedIn PACIFIC FLEET RECOVERY ACTIVITIES United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Records of the U.S. Information Agency. 1900 - 2003. Audio Recordings. 1942 - 1999. REPORT ON SPACE
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Senate. 1789 - 2015. Committee Papers. 1958 - 1976. Photograph of Astronaut Malcolm Scott Carpenter Discussing His Pending Orbital Flight
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. PROJECT GEMINI GT-3
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUTS RECEIVE COLLIER TROPHY
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Senate. 1789 - 2015. Committee Papers. 1958 - 1976. Photograph of Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom Preparing for Testing
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. CAPTAIN VIRGIL I. GRISSOM RECEIVES GENERAL WHITE TROPHY, WASHINGTON, D.C
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. GEMINI RECOVERY GT-2
referencedIn Hearst Metrotone News, Inc., Collection. 1937 - 1942. News of the Day Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 10/1963 - 12/1967. News of the Day (Mar. 28)
referencedIn Seven Astronauts Were Needed for Seven Vital Jobs United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Southwest Region
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUTS AT STEAD AFB, NEVADA
referencedIn Hearst Metrotone News, Inc., Collection. 1937 - 1942. News of the Day Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 10/1963 - 12/1967. News of the Day (Jan. 30)
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. AIR RESCUE SERVICE, KINDLEY AFB, BERMUDA
referencedIn The, Daily Worker, and, The Daily World, Photographs Collection, Bulk, 1930-1990, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Arthur E. Scott photograph collection, 1910-1976 George Mason University. Special Collections and Archives.
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. PROJECT quot;GEMINI GT-3quot;
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. NASA PRESS CONFERENCE OF MERCURY ASTRONAUT TEAM WASHINGTON D.C., 9 APRIL 1959
referencedIn MERCURY ASTRONAUTS DURING WEIGHTLESSNESS TRAINING AT EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. Movietone News, Vol. 44, No. 104
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUTS, EDWARDS AFB, CALIFORNIA
referencedIn Scott, Arthur E., 1917-1976. Arthur E. Scott photograph collection, 1910-1976. George Mason University, Fenwick Library
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Senate. 1789 - 2015. Committee Papers. 1958 - 1976. Photograph of Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom Preparing for Testing in the Centrifuge
referencedIn Hearst Metrotone News, Inc., Collection. 1937 - 1942. News of the Day Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 10/1963 - 12/1967. News of the Day (Jan. 20)
referencedIn Gus Grissom collection [graphic], 1960-1967. Indiana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Corporate records., 1843-1999. Minnesota Society
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. Mercury-Atlas 7 launch, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Florida, Grand Turk Island
referencedIn The World Was There United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. CDR ALAN S. SHEPARD JR USN PRESENTED NAVY ASTRONAUT WINGS Pentagon
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. FIRST ASTRONAUT WINGS PRESENTATION
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. GRISSOM/YOUNG-WASHINGTON RETURN
creatorOf Project Mercury stamps, first day of issue, autographed by Gus Grissom, 1962 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. Maj Leroy G. Cooper receives award and addresses Congress, Washington, DC
referencedIn Hovde, Frederick L., 1908-. Frederick L. Hovde papers, 1908-1983, bulk 1946-1971. Purdue University Library
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. MERCURY-REDSTONE 4 LAUNCH, TEST NO. 1809, CAPE CANAVERAL FLORIDA, 21 JULY 1961
referencedIn Astronauts in Centrifuge: Mercury Astronauts in the Centrifuge United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. WEIGHTLESSNESS EXPERIMENTS ON MERCURY ASTRONAUTS
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. SURVIVAL TRAINING FOR U.S ASTRONAUTS
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. FUNERAL SERVICES FOR ASTRONAUTS GRISSOM AND CHAFFEE, ARLINGTON CEMETERY, VIRGINIA, AND ANDREWS AFB, MARYLAND
referencedIn Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 1903 - 2006. Sound Recordings Relating to the Apollo 204 Accident
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUTS' ZERO GRAVITY TESTS
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Senate. 1789 - 2015. Committee Papers. 1958 - 1976. Photograph of Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom Listening to Astronaut Malcolm Scott Carpenter during the Aurora 7 Flight
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. Movietone News, Vol. 45, No. 48
referencedIn PACIFIC FLEET DEPLOYMENT AND POST RECOVERY ACTIVITIES United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Honeywell Inc. Corporate records, 1843-1999. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn White House Central Files (Johnson Administration). 11/22/1963 - 1/20/1969. White House Subject Files on the President
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUT SCHIRRA'S ARRIVAL AT HICKAM AFB, HAWAII
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Senate. 1789 - 2015. Committee Papers. 1958 - 1976. Photograph of Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. Project Mercury Astronaut Training
referencedIn Manned Spacecraft Center Technical Documents, 1961 - 1963 United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Southwest Region
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUTS IN WEIGHTLESS FLIGHT, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO, MARCH 1960
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. Movietone News, Vol. 44, No. 64
referencedIn Project Mercury United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn PROJECT MERCURY ASTRONAUTS CENTRIFUGE TRAINING AT JOHNSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUT CAPT. VIRGIL GRISSOM RIDES CENTRIFUGE
referencedIn Hearst Metrotone News, Inc., Collection. 1937 - 1942. News of the Day Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 10/1963 - 12/1967. News of the Day (Mar. 31)
referencedIn MERCURY ASTRONAUTS VIRGIL GRISSOM AND ALAN SHEPARD TRAINING United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. MERCURY MONUMENT DEDICATION, CAPE KENNEDY, FLORIDA
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. Astronaut Malcolm S. Carpenter receives NASA DSM, Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral, Florida
referencedIn Hearst Metrotone News, Inc., Collection. 1937 - 1942. News of the Day Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 10/1963 - 12/1967. News of the Day (Feb. 3)
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. PROJECT quot;MERCURYquot;
creatorOf Grissom, Virgil I. Letters. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. CDR ALAN S. SHEPARD JR USN PRESENTED NAVY ASTRONAUT WINGS Pentagon
referencedIn PROJECT MERCURY ASTRONAUTS DURING ZERO GRAVITY PREPARATIONS United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Grissom, Virgil I. Project Mercury stamps, first day of issue, autographed by Gus Grissom 1962. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. WEIGHTLESSNESS TRAINING FOR ASTRONAUTS, BROOKS AFB, TEXAS
referencedIn MECURY SPACECRAFT 7 MR-3 ON BOARD PERISCOPE FOOTAGE, AND ASTRONAUT SHEPARD PAST MISSION ACTIVITY United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. PSYCHOLOGICAL AND STRESS TESTING OF PROSPECTIVE PROJECT MERCURY CANDIDATES, WRIGHT-PATTERS0N AFB, OHIO, FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1959
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. PROJECT quot;GEMINI GT-3quot;
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ZERO GRAVITY TESTS IN C-131, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OHIO APRIL - JUNE 1959
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. GT-3 ASTRONAUTS GRISSOM AND YOUNG, WASHINGTON, D.C
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. MOVIETONE NEWS
referencedIn MERCURY ASTRONAUTS PREPARED FOR GRAVITY STRESS TEST IN CENTRIFUGE AT JOHNSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. Movietone News, Vol. 44, No. 63
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ZERO GRAVITY TESTS IN C-131, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OHIO 2-4 JUNE 1959
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Senate. 1789 - 2015. Committee Papers. 1958 - 1976. Photograph of Astronauts Virgil quot;Gusquot; Grissom and John H. Glenn, Jr. Awaiting Word from Aurora 7 Flight
referencedIn Mervin B. Hogan photograph collection, 1940s-1970s J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahPhotograph Archives
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. MERCURY ASTRONAUTS ZERO-G INDOCTRINATION FLIGHTS, EDWARDS AFB, CALIFORNIA
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUTS AT HOLLOMAN AFB
referencedIn Chaffee, Roger Bruce, 1935-1967. Papers, records, photographs and artifacts 1935-1967. Grand Rapids Public Library
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ASTRONAUT'S PRESS CONFERENCE, PATRICK AFB, FLORIDA
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ARRIVAL OF GT-3 ASTRONAUTS, PATRICK AFB AND CAPE KENNEDY, FLORIDA
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. Movietone News, Vol. 44, No. 21
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. PROJECT GEMINI GT-3
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. MOVIETONE NEWS
referencedIn X-2OA DYNA-SOAR PROGRAM REP0RT, l JULY 1961-30 JUNE 1962 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. GEMINI RECOVERY GT-2
editorOf MERCURY SPACECRAFT 13 MA-6 JOHN GLENN PARADE IN HAMPTON, VA United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. Movietone News, Vol. 45, No. 23
referencedIn PROJECT MERCURY ASTRONAUTS IN PROCEDURES TRAINER United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Photographs Relating to Agency Activities, Facilities and Personnel, 1960 - 1991 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Arthur E. Scott, 1917-1976 person
associatedWith Chaffee, Roger Bruce, 1935-1967. person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
memberOf Gemini 3 (Spacecraft) corporateBody
associatedWith Hogan, Mervin B. person
associatedWith Honeywell Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Hovde, Frederick L., 1908- person
associatedWith Project Mercury (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Scott, Arthur E., 1917-1976. person
associatedWith Young, John (John Watts), 1930- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Stamp collections
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1926-04-03

Death 1967-01-27

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 28535458